Vintage Seiko Restorations
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Thread: Vintage Seiko Restorations

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  1. #1
    Member markh58's Avatar
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    Vintage Seiko Restorations

    Specifically I'm referring to my worry over having my 6105-8119 and 6105-8000 restored but the topic of restoration vs leaving all original still holds.

    So questions:
    * Does having your vintage Seiko restored (dial and hands cleaned/relumed - new crystal, case polished, etc....) devalue it ?
    * Does it depend on the model of the watch - as exp: 6105-8119 is okay but never a 6139 Pogue or is restoring a 6138 Panda okay but don't touch a 6117 Navigator, etc...

    Thxs for your thoughts,
    Mark
    Last edited by markh58; March 24th, 2019 at 02:40.
    "Fun is good"... Dr. Seuss

  2. #2
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    Re: Vintage Seiko Restorations

    My personal feelings on this, simply as someone who buys a lot of vintage Seiko, are as follows-

    - Cleaning the dial/hands is fine, insofar as you are talking about removing grit/spots, if possible. Naturally some people prefer wabi/patina, but I think a distinction can be made between nice patina (as often occurs on old Seiko divers), and unsightly grit/grime
    - Reluming makes a watch less attractive for me, especially if there is patina on the rest of the watch
    - New crystal is fine (often dramatically improves the aesthetic and dial appearance, especially if an old Hardlex is really scuffed), I'd just keep the old one around in case you ever decide to sell
    - Case polishing...I'm guessing most people would prefer unpolished, as many vintage Seikos have a characteristic brushed appearance which can be lost with overpolishing. You definitely don't want to lose the original factory lines.

    I don't know that the model matters as much as long as everything remains original to the watch (crystal notwithstanding). The authenticity of the watch is definitely a concern given all the Feikos out there now (especially with the Pogues and Pandas).

    Hub City Vintage regularly sells restored vintage Seikos, and his stuff often sells out within an hour of being listed, but he takes pains to keep things all original. Of course I am biased here, having bought a few of his watches!
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  3. #3
    Member markh58's Avatar
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    Re: Vintage Seiko Restorations

    Thanks for the feedback, very appreciated. The dials of my 6150-8119 & 8000 have a small bit of "gunk" but the hands have far more. I understand that Jack @ International Watch Works is a trusted source for a restore but I'm pulled between leaving the dial/hands "aged" or bringing them back to their original condition. You mentioned Hub City Vintage, do they offer restoration services or just selling vintage pieces ?
    "Fun is good"... Dr. Seuss

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  5. #4
    Member dogandcatdentist's Avatar
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    Re: Vintage Seiko Restorations

    Quote Originally Posted by markh58 View Post
    Thanks for the feedback, very appreciated. The dials of my 6150-8119 & 8000 have a small bit of "gunk" but the hands have far more. I understand that Jack @ International Watch Works is a trusted source for a restore but I'm pulled between leaving the dial/hands "aged" or bringing them back to their original condition. You mentioned Hub City Vintage, do they offer restoration services or just selling vintage pieces ?
    I'd love to send a piece to Hub City, heard great things from trusted sources, but he's not accepting new jobs at the moment, and so are many popular sources in the US. I've actually been sending my pieces outside the US, to the UK, to get serviced. Ughh, but the international priority FedEx fees have been killer, adds a couple hundred to the service costs.

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  6. #5
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    Re: Vintage Seiko Restorations

    Original parts are preferred based on what has sold at a premium in near mint condition. With the Seiko Willard 6105 reissue prices will continue to climb, and as much as I might consider overhauling my two I will leave them unless they lose significant time. Name:  8622BEBA-F279-4970-A9BA-6BAA95A03F8C.jpeg
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  7. #6
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    Re: Vintage Seiko Restorations

    Hub City Vintage (Seth) only services watches that heís previously sold. The general rules with any vintage watch if you want to preserve its value:
    Donít refinish / polish the case, ever. Fastest way to lose value is softening sharp edges or removing original brushed surfaces. Many collectors consider the nicks / scuffs to be history and like it.
    A scuffed original acrylic / plastic crystal can be polished. Thatís generally a better thing to do if you can than replacing it. It helps preserve the originality and on some watches, other parts. Putting an after market crystal on that looks different can lessen value.
    I own a bunch of vintage Seikos and try to buy the best original dials I can. After that I donít touch it, including the lume.
    Gaskets, always replace if the watch case is opened, thatís part of your defense against water intrusion.
    Bezel, donít replace the original, even if scuffed. And faded bezels can add to the value of a watch.
    Original hands are almost always best kept. And having bright luminous hands on an older dial is a dead giveaway of mods and can just look awkward/ unbalanced.
    Itís perfectly okay to replace interior movement parts but preferably to use OEM NOS parts.
    Crown, keep the original if at all possible.
    Most importantly, pick your watchmaker carefully and have a clear understanding with him about what you donít want him to do as what is okay to restore.
    dogandcatdentist likes this.
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  8. #7
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    Re: Vintage Seiko Restorations

    Service from trusted sources is becoming very scarce, if not near impossible. IWW, Hub City, KVW, and the others are either not accepting or have a backlog beyond belief.

    Removing obvious damage or replacing dysfunctional parts (with OEM replacements) to an old Seiko is fine. Keep the old parts for provenance and be judicious in aesthetic work. You can always polish more, but you can't polish less.
    Tick-tock in RoK GMT+9, no DST
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    Not Seiko: Parmigiania Tonda 1950, Zenith El Primero Chronomaster, Piaget Upstream, Muhle Glashutte Seebataillon GMT, Eterna Madison Spherodrive, Vulcain Cricket 1951 Classic, Bell & Ross Space 3 GMT, Bulova Accutron Astronaut (c. 1966), Omega Speedmaster triple date, Sinn 556 Anniversary LE, IWC Cal. 89 (c. 1957), Glycine Airman SST-12, Pulsar Date II (c. 1971), Scurfa Diver One, G-Shock Rangeman 9400, Vostok Classica
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  9. #8
    Member markh58's Avatar
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    Re: Vintage Seiko Restorations

    Thanks for the input, makes great sense to leave as is.
    "Fun is good"... Dr. Seuss

  10. #9
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    Re: Vintage Seiko Restorations

    Generally I'm of a preservationist mindset. Exceptions would be watches with water damaged dials, dented cases, etc. - if those watches can be given new life, then by all means restore them.

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